It requires courage to be a Servant Leader.
Servant Leadership is counter-intuitive and counter cultural. It goes against every urge we have to be the center of attention…to command and control. Because it requires extreme discipline to cast off ego and narcissistic desires and look out for the interests of others.
A typical self-centered leader says, “you do this,” a Servant Leader says, “how can I help you be who you were designed to be so that the organization can be blessed with your gifts and you can be fulfilled and maximized?” The first is what I want, the second is what is needed. It takes courage to ask the second question—and mean it.
To be a Servant Leader takes courage
To gain leadership you need to give up some of it. To get people to follow you need to empower. To be wise you must listen. To be first you must be last.
I once heard a leader say to one of his employees, “I’ve got the green, you provide the grunt.” It is true, he had the “green.” But don’t we want more than “grunt” from people? Don’t we want their wholeheartedness invested in the work they do? Don’t we want pride in craftsmanship? Don’t we want them to be fulfilled?
Grunt is what dysfunctional, narcissistic leaders want. Wholeheartedness is what Servant Leaders seek.
It takes courage to be a Servant Leader but the rewards are priceless.